Meet your guide upon hotel pickup in Penang and set out on your full-day private tour by comfortable private vehicle. Enjoy the morning drive along a famous stretch of Batu Ferringhi beaches and take in the panoramic views of the ocean. A brief stop is made at a traditional fishing village before heading out to a batik factory. Here, you’ll learn the intricate techniques of producing this exquisite Malaysian textile as you watch artisans use wax and dye to create their designs.
After driving past a working dam and fruit plantations, stop at a fruit stall for an introduction to local fruits and spices such as nutmeg and clove. Then continue to the famous Snake Temple, also known as the Temple of the Azure Cloud. Here, you’ll find venomous pit vipers coiled around the altars and various other parts of the temple, which was built in 1850. Considered harmless by the smoke of burning incense, the snakes’ venom has been removed for safety, but they still have intact fangs.
Learn about the 19th-century Buddhist monk who gave shelter to the snakes of jungle. Then stop to purchase a local lunch (own expense) in preparation for a religious journey to the fascinating Kek Lok Si Temple. One of the largest Chinese Buddhist temple complexes in Southeast Asia, it’s also known as the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Multiple prayer halls, pagodas and bell towers built in varying styles—from Burmese to Chinese to Thai—comprise the temple complex. Your guide will point out a bronze statue of Guanyin, goddess of mercy, located on a hillside above the pagoda.
Finally, head to Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera) and hop on the funicular railway to ascend to the top—2,625 feet (800 meters) above sea level. At Malaysia's oldest hill station, enjoy panoramic views of the island and the mainland beyond. On your way back, stop at the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre for a 30-minute workshop in pewter-smithing. With basic hand tools, you will manipulate the versatile metal into a simple pewter bowl, using similar techniques to those used in the late 19th century.
Your private day tour ends with return transport to your hotel, but you may opt to be dropped off for some shopping at the Straits Quay Mall.